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Segmentation of foreign tourist demand in a coastal marine destination: The case of Montañita, Ecuador

Carvache-Franco, Wilmer, Carvache-Franco, Mauricio, Carvache-Franco, Orly, Hernández-Lara, Ana Beatriz
Ocean & coastal management 2019 v.167 pp. 236-244
climate, coastal zone management, coasts, commercialization, factor analysis, motivation, multivariate analysis, questionnaires, recreation, sand, sports, tourism, tourists, Ecuador
Demand segmentation at coastal destinations contributes to the commercialization of locations in order to create products and services in accordance with each of the groups found. Ecuador is located in South America, and on its coast is the province of Santa Elena, where the Montañita Commune is located. This spot has been designated as a "Surf City" and constitutes a popular area visited by foreign tourists. Recreational activities related to sun and beach holidays take place here, and water sports such as surfing and parasailing are popular. This study aims at identifying the different segments of demand of foreign tourists in this coastal marine destination in terms of their motivational dimensions. To do so, an empirical work herein has been undertaken on-site, using a questionnaire and applying a factorial analysis as a multivariate technique. The results show the existence of three motivational dimensions: "Water Sports and Social Visits", "Ecotourism", and "Sun and Beach". According to the motivation schemes, four typologies of foreign tourists have been identified. First, "Eco-coastal Tourists" who visit the destination motivated by climate, sand and contact with nature. Second, "Indifferent Tourists" with low scores in almost all motivation criteria and who are not clearly related to any of the three dimensions identified. Third, "Water Sports Tourists" who visit the destination motivated by surfing and who enjoy the sun and the beach. Forth, "Sun and Beach Tourists" who visit the destination and are mainly motivated by rest and relaxation together with sun and beach criteria. The importance of this research lies in its contribution to the understanding of the characteristics of the different clusters of foreign tourists with regard to the motivational dimensions involved in this type of tourism.